[M/s 365] In sync

Packing has always been a stressful experience, or at least it was the first few times we did it together. Over the past year, we’ve come to be a well-oiled packing machine. A combination of using our favorite list service, Cozi (http://www.cozi.com) and just the experience and trust. I can pack in under an hour for a 5 day trip, and slave Angie has learned her rhythm and how to use the tools to not forget things. I’ve learned to trust her, that she will get it done, and she’s learned to accept and cope with my Aspie-OCD tendencies. The melt-downs now are very few and far between. We still forget something now and then, it wouldn’t be a trip without something being forgotten, but by and large, we are in sync and on the roll.

That whole experience is a microcosm for how M/s operates in the long term, I think. It is very rare for an M/s relationship to fire on all cylinders right off the bat. Sure, there’s the New Relationship Energy thing going, all is shiny, but eventually that new shine gets rubbed off and the learning and growing takes on a new direction. Now this is for keeps and I think it is here where couples learn the ins-and-outs and what is going to make them be in sync. It takes time, energy, communication and by that, I mean real communication – the soul searching within one’s self to know and acknowledge what is going on, then the sharing of that and listening, really listening to the other. Sure, Master commands, slave obeys, to do that effectively and positively requires real effort, finding the tools that work, finding the internal mechanisms that help get one through the rough times.

Packing used to be chaotic, stressful, lots of expectations and energy spent on things that just didn’t work. But, that was part of the journey and learning experience. So too, the M/s dynamic. And just as we didn’t stop traveling, so too we don’t give up on our dynamic. The tough times are when it’s really worth it, the growth is possible and obstacle is just that… something to be overcome.

One of my personal dangers and struggles with being in sync is complacency. I get comfortable, I get locked into a particular thing (hello Elder Scrolls Online, or Skyrim, or Dungeins & Dragons, or stock car racing, or … ) and I will assume that the “in sync” is going OK. But like any other skill, practice makes perfect, and practice and exercise need to happen. Those skills we learn in being in sync, that energy and emotion where we have that connection and we “feel and do” without even being conscious we’re doing it, that all needs practice and not setting aside. I’ve learned that to my chagrin a few times in the past. So I know it is there and when slave Angie raises the “I’m missing you, Master” flag, I’ve learned to recognize it.

There is no other feeling like being in sync though. When the two move as one, when it is so effortless and we work together as a well-oiled machine. It just feeds my ya-ya on how I always pictured an erotic M/s relationship should be.

[M/s 365] Feeling it

We finished our last event as the current International Master/slave titleholders in Louisville this weekend, having a wonderful time in Louisville at the Bluegrass Leather Pride weekend. Bittersweet and actually a little rocky – slave Angie wasn’t feeling well and I was just “off” in how I felt like our classes flowed. Folks seemed to like them, and learn from them, but you know how it feels when you’re not hitting the notes or doing the things that you expect to be doing? It was one of those.

Thinking on that reminds me that sometimes we’re not feeling our roles, we’re not feeling particularly Masterful or slavey-like. Feeling sick, life has us down, or we’re just tired, or for whatever reason. This is the point where a segment of the kink community says “well, go ahead and put that on the shelf, go back to being ‘real’ and when you’re ready, pick it back up again.”

And for many folks, that works. That approach is valid for people who need to have D/s and M/s be something that is a scene, or a thing that is an assumed role.

I used to be like that, but I’ve changed and slave Angie has changed and now — well, it’s like from the Velveteen Rabbit, when Skin Horse explains the change:

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Our hair has been loved off, and we’re probably a bit shabby with the new relationship energy worn off, and time has whacked our joints a bit… but even with the energy being off, even when we couldn’t visit the dungeon because it wasn’t a good day, we’re still who we are, we still process those feelings and those moments and yet we are still Master and slave. That bond, that surety of who we are grounds us, and we know that we’ve become and there is no going back. Once that door has been opened, and those changes have happened, well, we can’t put it down. And I wouldn’t want to.

It was scary and the hugeness of this whole thing still leaves me in awe, although now it’s not so scary. Rather, it’s the comfort and security and knowledge that despite how we’re feeling it, we are who we are.

[M/s 365] Playing the Master card

“… because that’s what Master wants.”

Simple words. Simple phrase. I call it playing “the Master card.” At the end of the day, with all of the authority lying with me, I can say “because I said so” and that is the way it is. No explanation needed, no discussion has to be had. No compromise. My way or the highway. I can say it pleasantly, I can say it angrily. It’s the line that doesn’t get crossed. “Because Master said so.”

I think that overusing the Master card would be harmful to my M/s relationship. There is never a doubt in my mind that slave Angie would follow me even if I played that card each and every time… at first. After awhile, it would start to feel all one way to both of us. If I’m leading in a vacuum, without regard or interaction, it becomes sterile. And that’s not what I’m really after. I don’t want an underling, or a functionary, simply mindlessly obeying orders. I want a companion who has surrendered to me – but one where there is a natural, comfortable, daily communication. That communication is there if she’s curious, if she wants to know context, if she wants to learn more to be of better service, or even if she wants to offer a possible alternative, or if I want to explore an issue and search for the best, most harmonious answer.

And yet, sometimes I think under-using the Master card can also be detrimental. Sometimes, the situation calls for it and if I don’t play it… well, Nature and strong-willed slaves abhor a vacuum.

I’ve been thinking of how to explain when and how I know when a simple “because Master says so” is required. It’s hard to know, because it can be stressful. It can be involved with an upset, or lead to an upset, or it can be part of a correction. It can be a moment where I don’t read it right and put my foot down, only to realize I put it through the floor when it wasn’t required. That’s part of the deal of being on the Master side, and knowing that you might not get it 100% right 100% of the time.

Part of that card is also letting slave Angie work through the issue. If the situation is related to an upset, or my slave is obeying, but I know she is struggling with some aspect, I have to let her work through it at her pace. Pushing isn’t going to get slave Angie anywhere – she’s going to eventually get to a point where she can either communicate her struggle and we talk about it, or she’s going to overcome the hurdle and grow from it. When service is hard is when we have the most opportunities for finding new places in ourselves.

If you haven’t guessed, we had a situation in the past couple of days where I had to say “Master said so” and it was involved with a minor upset. I let her work through it, although it wasn’t much of a pleasant night for either of us, as the upset happened right before bedtime. It was really minor as compared to what I’m writing about, but the situation made me take a look and break down how the “Master card” works.

(picture from: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=484&picture=a-credit-card )

The M/s video – The ending you won’t like reading about

I wrote this past weekend about an Australian media interview of our friends Master Joe and slave Kim. It was a short 5 minute video and a very nice look at a loving Master/slave relationship. The video was posted to Facebook and generated a lot of really ugly, nasty comments, alongside a few nice ones.

I received an email from slave Kim with some terrible news. Although the video garnered over a million views, Master Joe and slave kim came under the barrage of hate mail, bullying mail, ranging from body shaming to going into their personal and parenting abilities. Their websites for their business (MJ’s Toybox, their sole means of income) as well as personal websites came under attack in attempts to remove them.

So SBS has removed the video, although, in the words of slave Kim – “the tv station made it clear they were under no obligation to take it down but they have respected my wishes to do so.” So kudos to SBS for doing that.

This is why I posted my thoughts this weekend, and why I continue to caution folks who want to have “Let’s shock the vanillas” Fifty Shades viewings at the theaters, why I think that even within the general BDSM/kink communities, M/s will continue to be on the edge. We can share and teach and be the example, but living on the edge has a price.

Master Joe and slave Kim showed a lot of courage to put that view of themselves out there, and I’m really sorry to hear of the attacks and nastiness that came their way. There may come a day when being kinky, living in erotic relationships with different power dynamics might not raise an eyebrow, but that day is not today. I have my own doubts about that, but we’ll see.

(Picture from: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=74349&picture=hand-thumb-down-silhouette )

[M/s 365] A moment of perfection

“Present.” I told Angie last night, as we prepared for bed. She did so.

I ran my hands down her body, watched her face as she slipped into that place.

So did I.

Moment of perfection, of connection. That’s why, despite that folks talk about how much hard work M/s is, or have their own projections of M/s, these moments of connection, of when I feel the surrender, when I can almost taste it on the electricity of the air and connection between us – that is why I do this. Because this is where I want to be.

(picture from: http://pixabay.com/en/dress-reticulum-shoulder-view-495160/)

[M/s 365] This is why Master/slave will always be on the edge of kink

I found a video posted on Facebook of our friends Master Joe and slave Kim of Australia. It’s a mainstream media interview of them, and fairly positive, if you’re open to Master/slave relationships. Having spent time with them, the video is fairly representative of their dynamic and an M/s dynamic in general.

Update 2/22 – THE VIDEO HAS SINCE BEEN REMOVED — PLEASE SEE HERE WHY.

Update 3/2 – slave Kim has pointed me to the Youtube link for the same video. The comments (so far) are far more reasonable.

In a random sampling of the over 11 thousand comments made to the original Facebook post (as of 11am Sat CST), I’d say it runs about 10:1 negative.

Even in this day of Internet, widely available kinky information and groups, Fifty Shades (books and movies)… we’re seen as on the edge. As wrong. As abusive. This is not going to change. Fifty Shades is not going to bring about a revolution in terms of understanding and of acceptance. We are always going to be on the edge, those of us who practice Master/slave dynamics. Our dynamic is seen as something that is so abnormal that there clearly must be something very wrong with the participants.

That’s OK. Let the ones who were never going to be open to different things think that. I’ll educate the curious, the willing, the ones called to take this journey and the ones who want to know to be accepting. Those are the people I’m called to share with. I’ve never seen my job to be someone who makes M/s palatable to the masses. Only understood that our choice in our dynamic is most definitely 90% of the time not going to be yours… and that we’re the most happiest, fulfilled, hard-working couple you’ll ever meet. Because we are who we are.

[M/s 365] Why didn’t you give up?

slave angie: An interesting question came up during our Master/slave 101 class recently. Master and i had been discussing with the attendee’s our difficulties and struggles in the beginning of our relationship. We like to take questions in the middle and all through it, just makes for great conversation and that way and we also get to learn from all sorts of different relationships and dynamics. Our very first struggle we had discussed in the beginning of the class was Master’s Aspie (Aspergers) and the communication issues we had to learn tools for and overcome.

Then someone asked a simple question – “Why didn’t you give up?”  I’m not even really sure why this was a surprise to me but it really was. This was an option ? Giving up on has never been in my wiring even sometimes at certain points in my life to my own detriment, Irish stubbornness yes yes I know *sigh* But “this” .. This has always been something bigger then just me and at a whole bunch of other times felt bigger then the two of us together.  I knew and learned trust a a bond that continued to grow and strengthen which each and every struggle we came through together.

Master Michael: You didn’t want to give up even when we were at our lowest and I said “This is over.” You sat on that floor and said “No, it’s not.” And wouldn’t leave. Which set me back and made me think and the Sun came up the next morning and we began anew again.

slave angie: I never believed for one second that could be the truth, that we could be not who were were inside and the bond could be severed.

Master Michael: And it wasn’t and hasn’t been since. Anchors for each other.